The Electrical Worker online
June 2019

From the Officers
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The Tools to Grow

Last month, I wrote to you about the importance of each of us taking on the responsibility of recruiting the next generation of electrical workers. We're all union members, and for the IBEW to grow and thrive, we need each of you to be a part of the effort.

This month, I want to talk about the tools we're providing you to do it.

Over the last year, our Membership Development Department has been working with the AFL-CIO to develop the Action Builder organizing platform. You can read more about it in this month's cover story, but let me tell you, it's going to revolutionize the way we find, track and contact potential members.

When I was coming up back in Illinois, an organizer's office — and car, and probably their home, too — was a mess. There were binders full of lists covered in notes, piles of paper and half a dozen well-worn road atlases, and keeping track of everything was a chore at best and impossible at worst.

It's been that way for as long as I can remember — until now.

With Action Builder, instead of printing out that list, you upload it. Then, from your computer or your smartphone, you can create maps for door-knocking, or assign lists for calling. You can customize this new system to whatever campaign you're on, whether you're organizing a nonunion construction site or conducting an internal campaign to engage your existing members.

This thing is an organizer's dream, and it's available to all of our locals right now.

I want to also talk about our new website, For way too long, if you were a working nonunion electrician or a student thinking about an apprenticeship, it wasn't always easy to figure out where to get information about the IBEW. Maybe you knew of the local in your area or maybe you thought you had to know someone to get in.

With this new website, we're reaching out beyond those old ways to meet the needs of this booming industry of ours. In many parts of North America, we could put twice as many folks to work if only we had them. So, the website is a single point of contact to engage with would-be IBEW members, assess the skills they've already got and put them in contact with the local in their area.

And it's already getting results. Alongside the site for our non-construction branches, we're confident that anyone out there looking for a better life through the IBEW has a place to go to get answers, and that's going to change the way we organize new members.

This union changed my life 40 years ago when I joined, and I know it's done the same for so many of you. These new tools are going to help us improve a lot more lives in the coming years as we rise to meet the challenge of powering North America's progress.


Also: Cooper: What We Want in a Candidate Read Cooper's Column

Lonnie R. Stephenson

Lonnie R. Stephenson
International President